The Creamline Cool Smashers stayed on pace for the top of the Premiere Volleyball League Reinforced Conference standings, outlasting the Pocari Sweat-Air Force Lady Warriors, 25-15, 27-25, 17-25, 25-19 at the Batangas City Coliseum.
Absorbing a blistering 4-0 start from Pocari Sweat, the Cool Smashers slowly got their bearings in the first set. Staunch blocking and steady serving allowed the Cool Smashers to build a 20-13 wall to secure the opening frame. Creamline had a clean track to a 2-0 sets lead, holding on to a 24-20 gap in the second set before the Lady Warriors came alive. Myla Pablo and Arielle Love conspired to force a deuce, but both were stifled in the end game. Risa Sato and Alyssa Valdez linked to deliver Creamline’s last two points of the second set.
With Pablo sustaining a minor elbow injury at the onset of the fourth set, Pocari Sweat leaned on Love to keep them alive. The Ohio-native delivered and powered the Lady Warriors to an insurmountable 23-17 lead to extend the match.
Creamline’s Serbian import Nikolina Asceric buoyed her squad from a 10-all tie to an 18-14 cushion. Love tried to rally the Lady Warriors again, pulling her squad to within one, 19-18. But the Cool Smashers found their closer in Valdez, who ended the match with three straight magnificent serves, two of which were aces.
“We just wanted to stay focused kanina kasi we had a few lapses talaga,” said Creamline captain Valdez, who managed 16 points. “It was important for us stay happy and relaxed throughout the game talaga para mas mapadali sa amin ‘yung laro.”
Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin added 16 markers, while middle blocker Nikolina Asceric managed 13.
Arielle Love poured in 29 points. Maddie Palmer added 13.
Creamline (3-1) take on the Tacloban Fighting Warays (2-2) on May 27. Pocari Sweat (1-2) face Iriga-Navy Lady Oragons (1-1) on May 23.
Creamline (3) – Kaewpin 16, Valdez 16, Asceric 13, Sato 10, Gumabao 9, Morado 1, Cabanos 0, Galanza 0, Atienza (L), Gohing (L)
Pocari Sweat (1) – Love 29, Palmer 13, Pablo 12, Panaga 6, Antipuesto 3, Palomata 2, Pantino 2, Semana 1, Racraquin 0, Yongco 0, Tempiatura (L)